tv Vice Presidential Debate FOX News October 11, 2012 6:00pm-7:30pm PDT
that's so unlike the experience we had in the g.o.p. presidential primaries, where there wasn't a lot of room for that. so hopefully, we will see a robust exchange between these two guys, in those two chairs. it starts in moments. >> the debate between vice-president joe biden and congressman paul ryan is set to start in just seconds. i'm bret baier, live inside the debate hall. >> i'm megyn kelly inside the spin room, after the debate, to try to convince you that their side won. team obottomma was noticeibly absent after a less than stellar
response from president obama. >> the strategy for vice-president biden is to drive a wedge in between paul ryan and governor romney, to get in between the policy positions so that, essentially, they're setting up vice-president biden would be setting up his boss before the next debate. in other words, to put governor romney back on his heels before that town hall debate in new york. >> one of the dynamics we will be watching is the considerable age difference, between the two men, about 30 years. we talked about how when vice-president biden had already gotten married and graduated from college and finished law school, that's when paul ryan was born. so we will see how age and the difference plays in this debate tonight, as we watch things about to get underway, here in danville. >> reporter: good evening and welcome to the first and only vice-presidential debate of 2012. sponsored by the commission on
presidential debates. i'm martha raddatz of abc news. i am honored to moderate this debate between two men who have dedicated much of their lives to public service. tonight's debate is divided between domestic and foreign policy issues. i am going to move back and forth between foreign and domestic since that's what a vice-president or president would have to do. we will have 9 segments. at the beginning of each segment, i will ask both candidates a question and they will each have 2 minutes to answer. then i will encourage a discussion between the candidates with follow-up questions. by coin toss, it has been determined that vice-president biden will be first to answer the opening question. we have a wonderful audience here at centre college tonight. you will no doubt hear their enthusiasm at the end of the debate, and right now as we welcome vice-president joe biden and congressman paul ryan. [applause]
>> reporter: you got your wave to the families in. that's great. good evening, gentlemen. it really is an honor to be here with both of you. i would like to begin with libya. on a rather somber note, one month ago tonight, on the anniversary of 9/11, ambassador chris stevens and three other brave americans were killed in a terrorist attack in benghazi. the state department has now made clear there were no protesters there. it was a pre-planned assault by heavily armed men. wasn't this a massive intelligence failure, vice-president biden? >> it was. it was a tragedy, martha. chris stevens was one
best. we lost three other brave americans. kimake absolutely two commitments to you and all the american people tonight. one, we will find and bring to justice the men who did this. and secondly, we will get to the bottom of it, and wherever the facts lead us, wherever they lead us, we will make clear to the american public because whatever mistakes were made will not be made again. when you are looking at a president, martha, it seems to me that you should take a look at his most important responsibility. that's caring for the national security of the country. the best way to do that is to take a look at how he has handled the issues of the day. on iraq, the president said he would end the war. governor romney said that was a tragic mistake, we should have left -- he ended it -- governor romney said that was a tragic mistake, we should have left 30,000 troops there. with regard to afghanistan, he said he will end the war in 2014. governor romney said we should not set a date number 1 and number 2, with regard to 2014
tdepends. when it came to osama bin laden, the president, the first day in office, i was sitting with him in the oval office, he called in the cia and signed an order saying my highest priority is to get bin laden. prior to the election, prior to him being sworn in, governor romney was asked how he would proceed. he said, i wouldn't move heaven and earth to get bin laden. he didn't understand it was more than taking a murderer off the battlefield, it was about restoring america's heart and letting terrorists around the world know, if you do harm to america, we will track you to the gates of hell, if need be. lastly, the president of the united states has led with a steady hand and clear vision. governor romney, the opposite. the last thing we need now is another war. >> reporter: congressman ryan? >> we mourn the loss of these four americans who were murdered. when you take a look at what has happened in the last few weeks,
they sent the u.n. ambassador out to say this was because of a protest and a youtube video. it took the president two weeks to acknowledge that this was a terrorist attack. he went to the u.n. and in his speech at the u.n., he said six times, he talked about the urk tube video. look, if we are hit by terrorist, we are going to call it for what it is -- a terrorist attack. our ambassador in paris, has a marine detachment guarding him. shouldn't we have a marine detachment guarding our ambassador in benghazi,a i place where we knew there was an al qaeda cell with arms? this is becoming more troubling by the day. they first blamed the youtube video, now they are trying to blame the romney/ryan ticket for making this an issue. with respect to iraq, we have the same position before the withdrawal, which was, we agreed with the obama administration, let's have a status of forces agreement it make sure we secure our gains.
the vice-president was put in charge of those negotiations by president obama and they failed to get the agreement. we don't have an agreement because they failed to get one. that's what we are talking about. when it comes to our veterans, we owe them a great debt of gratitude for what they have done for us, including your son, beau. but we also want to make sure that we don't lose the things we have fought so hard to get. with respect to afghanistan and the 2014 deadline, we agree with a 2014 transition. but what we also want to do is make sure we are not projecting weakness abroad. that's what is happening here. this benghazi issue would be a tragedy in and of itself, but unfortunately, it's indicative a broader problem, that's what we are watching on our tv screens is the unraveling of the obama forbe policy, which is making it more chaotic in the world and us less safe. >> reporter: i want to correct you in the missed of the crisis, governor romney, you are talking about this again tonight, talked about the weakness, talked about
apologies from the obama administration. was that really appropriate, rights in the middle of the crisis? >> on that same day, the obama administration had the exact same position. let's recall that they disavowed their own statement that they had put out earlier in the day in cairo. so we had the same position. it is never too early to speak out for our values. we should have spoken out right away when the green revolution was up and starting when the mullas in iran were attacking their people. we should not have called the assad a reformer when he was turning guns on his own people. we should always stand up for peace, democracy and individual rights. we should not be imposing devastating defense cuts because what that does, when we equivocate on our values -- >> here -- >> it makes us more weak. it projects weakness. when we look weak, our adversaries are more willing to
-- >> with all due respect, that's a bunch of malarky-- >> reporter: why's that so? >> that's not true. >> reporter: be specific. >> i will be very specific. the lect our embassy security, the congressman here cut embassy security in his budget by $300 million below what we asked for. number 1. so much for the embassy security piece. number 2, governor romney, before he knew the facts, before he even knew that our ambassador was killed, he was out making a political statement, panned by the media around the world. and this talk about this -- this weakness -- i don't understand what my friend's talking about here. this is a president who has gone out and done everything he has said he was going to do. this is a guy who has repaired our alliances so the rest of the world follows us again. this is a guy who brought the entire world, including russia and china to bring about the most devastating, most
devastating -- the most devastating efforts on iran to make sure that they in fact stop what they are doing -- look, i just, i mean, they bet against america all the time-- >> reporter: can we talk about -- >> yeah, sure. >> reporter: what were you first told about the attack? why were people talking about protests when people in the conflict first saw armed men attacking with guns, there were no protesters -- why did that go on? >> that's exactly what we were told by the intelligence community. the intelligence community told us that, as they learned more facts about exactly what happened, they changed their assessment. that's why there is also an infection, headed by tom pickerring, a leading diplomat from the reagan years, doing an investigation to whether or not there are any lapses, what the lapses were, so they will never happen again-- >> reporter: and they wanted more security there. >> we weren't told they wanted more security. we did not know they wanted more
security. and by the way, at the time, we were told exactly -- we said exactly what the intelligence community told us, that they knew. that was the assessment. and as the intelligence community changed their view, we made it clear they changed their view. that's why i said, we will get to the bottom of this. you know, usualee when there is a crisis, we pull together as a nation. but as i said, even before we knew what happened to the ambassador, the governor was holding a press conference, was holding a press conference. that's not presidential leadership. >> reporter: mr. ryan, i want to ask you about -- the romney campaign talks a lot about no apologies. he has a book called "no apologies." should the u.s. have apologized for americans burning korans in afghanistan? should the u.s. apologize for u.s. marines urinating on taliban corpses? >> oh, gosh, yes. urine urinating on corpses. we should not apologize for standing up for our values and
saying that the egyptian people, while mubarak is cracking down on them that he's a good guy and the next week say he ought to go. we should not be rejecting claims for calls for more security in our baraks in our marines. we need marines in benghazi when the commander on the ground says we need more forces for security. there were requests for extra security. the requests were not honored. look, this was the anniversary of 9/11. it was libya, a country we knee we had al qaeda cell there is, as we know al qaeda and its affiliates are on the rise in northern africa. we did not give our ambassador in benghazi a marine detachment? of course, there is an investigation so we can make sure this never happens again. but when it comes to speaking up for our value, we should not apologize for those. here's the problem, look at the issues and it's unraveling before our eyes. the vice-president talks about sanctions on iran-- >> reporter: let's move to iran.
i would like to move to iran because there is really no bigger national security. >> absolutely. >> reporter: this country is facing. both president obama and governor romney have said they will prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. even if that means military action. last week, former defense secretary bob gates said a strike on iran's facilities would not work and, quote, could prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations. can the two of you be absolutely clear and specific to the american people how effective would a military strike be? congressman ryan? >> we cannot allow iran to gain a nuclear weapons capability. now, let's take a look at where we have come from. when barack obama was elected, they had enough nuclear material to make one bomb. now they have enough for five. they are racing for a nuclear weapon, they are four years closer. we have had four sanctions on iran, three from the bush
administration, one here. and the only reason we got it is because russia watered it down and prevented the sanctions from hitting the central bank. mitt romney proposed the sanctions in 2007 in congress. i have been fighting for them since 2009. the administration was blocking us every step of the way. only because we had strong bipartisan support were we able to overrule their objections and put them in spite of the administration. imagine what would have happened if we had the sanctions in place earlier? do you think iran's not brazen? look at hathey for doing. they are spep stepping up their terrorist attacks. they tried a terrorist attack in the united states last year, when they tried to blow up the saudi ambassador in washington, d.c. talk about credibility. when the administration says all options are on the table, they send senior official who is send mixed signalses. so in order to solve this peacefully, which is everybody's goal, have you to have the ayatollahs change their minds. they are moving faster toward a nuclear weapon.
it's because the administration has no credibility on this issue. it is because the administration watered down sanction, delayed sarvegzs, tried to stop us from putting the tough sanctions in place. we have them because of congress. they say every option on the table but it is not viewed as credzible. the key to do it peacefully is to make sure we have credible. in a romney administration, we will have credibility on this issue. >> reporter: vice-president biden? >> incredible. look, imagine had we let the republican congress work out the sanctions? you think there is any possibility the entire world would have joined us? russia and china? all of our allies in these are the most crippling sanks in the history of sanctions, period. period. when governor romney's asked about it, he said, we have to keep these sanctions. when you say, you are talking about doing -- are you going to go to war? >> we want to prevent war. >> how are they going to prevent war? how do they prevent war if they
say there is nothing more we should do than what we have already done. and number 2, with regard to the ability of the united states to take action millitarily, it is -- it is not in my pursue to talk about classified information,be but we feel quite confident, we can deal a serious blow to the iranians. number 2, the iranians are the israelis and the united states, our military intelligence communities are absolutely the same exact place, in terms of how close, how close the iran iranians are to a nuclear weapon. they are a good way away. there is no difference between our view and if theirs. when my friend talks about fizzile material, they have to take this highly enriched uranium from 20% up, then they have to be able to have something to put it in. there is no weapon that the iranians have at this point. both the israelis and we know we
will know if they start the process of building a weapon. so all of this bluster i keep hearing, all of this loose talk, what are they talking about? are you talking about to be more credible? what more can the president do? stand before the united nations, tell the whole world, directly communicate with the ayatollah, we will not let them acquire a nuclear weapon. period. unless he is talking about going to war? >> market alet's look at this from the view of the ayatollahs. what do they see? they see the administration trying to water down sanctions in congress over two years. they are moving faster toward a nuclear weapon. they are spinning the centrifuges faster. they see us coming in, we need more space with our ally israel. they see president obama and new york city the same day that b.b. netanyahu and instead of meeting with him, goes on a daily talk show. they see whether we say that these options are on the table,
the secretary of defense walked them back. they are not changing their mind. that's what we have to do, change their mind so they stop pursuing-- >> reporter: look, you both saw benjamin netanyahu hold up that picture of a bomb with a red line and talking about the red line being in spring. so can you solve this -- if the romney/ryan ticket is elected, can you solve this in two months before spring? and avoid nuclear -- >> we can debate the timeline. we can debate the timeline, whether it is that short or longer, i gray that it's probably longer. number 2, it's all-- >> reporter: you don't agree with that -- [overlapping dialogue] >> go into classified stuff, but we both agree that to do this peacefully, have you to get them thochange their minds. they are not changing their minds-- >> reporter: what do do you -- >> let me tell you what the
ayatollahs sees his economy being crippled. the ayatollah sees there are 50% fewer exports of oil, they see the currency going into the tank. he sees the economy going into a freeh fall and he sees the world for the first time, totally united in opposition to him getting a nuclear weapon. with regard to b.b., my friend for 49 years, the president's met with b.b. a dozen times. he has spoken to netanyahu as much as he's spoken to anybody -- i was in -- just before he went to the u.n., i was in a conference call with the president with him talking to b.b. for well over an hour. and stark relief and detail about what was going on. this is a bunch of stuff. look, here's the deal-- >> reporter: what does that mean, "a bunch of stuff"? >> he's irish. [laughter] >> we irish call it malarky. >> but last thing, the secretary of defense has made it absolutely -- you can't walk
anything back. we will not allow the iranians to get a nuclear weapon. what b.b. held up there was when they get to the point where they can enrich uranium enough to put into a weapon. they don't have a weapon to put it into. let's all calm down a little bit here. iran is more isolated today than when we took office. it was on the ascendance whewe took office. it is totally isolated -- >> thank heavens we have the sanctions in place. it is in spite of their opposition. they have given 20 waivers to the sanction. and all i have to point to are the results. there are four years closer to a nuclear weapon. i let that case speak for itself. >> by the way-- >> reporter: another war in the middle-east. >> they are closer to being able to get enough fizzile material to put in a weapon, if they had a weapon. >> reporter: you are acting like they don't want. >> no, i am not saying that! facts matter, martha.
you are a foreign policy expert. facts matter. all of this loose talk about them -- all they have to do is get to enrich uranium and they have a weapon. not true. not true. they are more -- and if we ever have to take action, unlike when we took office, we will have the world behind us. and that matters. that matters. >> reporter: what about bob gates' statement? let me read that again -- could prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations. >> he is right. it could prove catastrophic if we didn't do-- >> reporter: congressman ryan. >> it undermines our credibility by backing up the point when we make it that all options are on the table. that's the point. the ayatollahs see these kinds of statements and they think, i am going to get a nuclear weapon. when we see the kind of equivocation that took place because this administration wanted a precondition policy, so when the revolution started you
up, they were silent nine days. when they see us putting -- putting daylight between ourselves and our allies in israel, that gives them encouragement. when they see russia watering down any further sanctions, the. sanction is because russia watered it down and prevented it from being sanctions in the first place. so when they see this kind of activity, they are encouraged to continue -- >> martha. >> martha: let me ask you what is worse -- another wor in the middle-east or a nuclear-armed iran. >> a nuclear-armed iran, which triggers a nuclear arms race in the middle-east. this is the world's largest sponsor of terrorism -- wiping an entire counselry off the mapful they call us the great satan. if they get nuclear weapons, other people in the neighborhood will pursue nuclear weapons as well. we can't live with that. >> martha: vice-president? >> war should always be the absolute last resort. that's why these crippling
sanctions, when b.b. netanyahu says we should continue and if i am not mistaken, governor romney says we should continue. he changes his mind so often, i could be wrong. but the fact of the matter he is, he says they are working. the fact is that they are being crippled by them. and we have made it clear, big nations can't bluff this president doesn't bluff. >> martha: gentlemen, i want to bring the conversation to a different kind of national security issue. the state of our economy. the number-1 issue here at home is jobs. the percentage of unemployed just fell below 8% for the first time in 43 months. the obama administration had projected that it would fall below 6% now, after the addition of close to a trillion dollars in stimulus money. so will both of you level with the american people -- can you get unemployment to under 6%? and how long will it take? >> i don't know how long it will
take. we can and we will get it under 6%. let's take a look at the facts. let's look at where we were when we came into office. the economy was in free fall. we had a great recession hit. 9 million people lost their job, 1.6 trillion dollars in wealth lost in equity in your homes and retirement accounts for the middle class. we knew we had to act for the middle class. we rescued general motors. we made sure that we cut taxes for the middle class. and in addition to that -- when that occurred, what did romney do? he said, no, let the detroit go bankrupt. we helped people refinance their homes. governor romney said, no, let foreclosures hit the bottom. it shouldn't be surprising for a guy who says 47% of the american people are unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives. my friend, recently in a speech for washington said 30% of the american people are takers. these people are my mom and dad, the people i grew up with, my
neighbors. they pay more effective tax than governor romney pays in federal income tax. they are elderly people living on social security, veterans and people fighting in afghanistan right now who are, quote, not paying any tacks. i have had it up to hear with that notion of 47%. it's about time to take responsibility. instead of signing pledges to grover norquist, not to ask the wealthiest amongitous contribute to bring back the middle class, they should be signing a pledge to the middle class saying, we are going to level the playing field and fif you a fair shot again. we are not going to repeat the mig mistakes of the past, having a different set of rules for wall street and main street, making sure that we continue to hemorrhage the tax cuts for the super wealthy. they are pushing the continuation of a tax cut that will give an additional $500 billion in tax cuts to 120,000 families. and they're holding hostage, the
middle-clationz tax cut because they say we won't continue the middle-class tax cut unless you give the tax cut to the super wethy. it's about time they take responsibility. >> martha: mr. ryan. >> joe and i are from similar towns. he's from scranton, pennsylvania, i'm from wisconsin. you know what the unemployment rate is in scranton? >> i sure do. >> 10%. and when you came in, 8.5%. that's how it is going all around america. >> that's not how it's going. it is going down joo. >> martha: this is his two-minute answer, please. >> did they come in and inherit a tough situation? absolutely. but we are going in the wrong direction. look at where we are. the economy is barely limping along. it is growing 1.3%, slower thran last year and last year was slower than the year before. job growth in september was slower than in august and august was slower than in july. we are heading in the wrong direction. 23 million americans are
struggling for work. 15% of americans are living in poverty today. this is not what a real recovery looks like. we need real reforms, for a real recovery, that's exactly what mitt romney and i are proposing, five-point plan -- get america energy independent by the end of the decade. help people who are hurting get the skills they need for the jobs they want. get the deficit and debt under control to prevent a debt crisis. make trade in america and sell things overseas and champion small businesses. don't raise taxes on small businesses because they are our job creators. he talks about detroit. mitt romney's a car guy. they keep misquoting hip. let me tell but the mitt romney i know. this is a guy who i was talking to a family in north borough, massachusetts, sherylin mark-nixon. their kids were hit in a car crash, four of them. two of them were paralyzed. the romneys didn't know them.
they never met. mitt asked to come over for christmas. he brought his boys, his wife and gifts. later on, he said, i know you are struggling, mark, don't worry about their college, i will pay for it. when mark told me this story -- mitt romney doesn't tell these stories. the nixons told me this story. when he told me the story, it wasn't the cash help, it's that he gave his time and he has consistently. this is a man who gave 30% of his income to charity, more than the two of us combined. mitt romney's good man. he cares about 100% of americans in this country. with respect to that quote, i think the vice-president very well knows that sometimes the words don't come out of your mouth the right way. [laughter] >> i always say what i mean. so does romney. >> we want everybody to succeed. we want to get people out of poverty, in the middle class, on the lives of self-sufficiency. we believe in opportunity and upward mobility.
>> martha: vice-president, i have a feeling you have a few things to say here. [chuckles] >> the idea, if you heard that -- that little solil owe key on 47%, you think he made a mistake, i think -- i have a bridge to sell you. look, i don't doubt his personal generosity. i understand what it's like... when i was younger than the congressman, my wife was in an accident, killed my daughter and my wife. and my two sons survived. i have sat in the homes of many people who have gone through what i went through because the one thing you can give people solace is to know they know, you have been through it, they can make it. so i don't doubt his personal commitment to individuals. but you know what? i know he had no commitment to the automotive industry. he just said thereto go bankrupt, period. thereto drop out. all of this talk, we saved a million jobs.
200,000 people are working today. and i have never met two guys more down on america across the board, we are told everything's going bad. 5.2 million new jobs, private-sector jobs. we need more. but 5.2 million. if they would get out of the way, get out of the way and let us pass the tax cut for the middle class, make it permanent. if they would get out of the way and pass the jobs pill, if they get out of the way and let us allow 14 million people who are struggling to stay in their homes because their mortgages are upside down and they never missed a payment. jet gut out of the way. stop talking about how you care about people. show me something. show me a policy. show me a policy where you take responsibility. by the way, they talk about this great recession as if it fell out of the sky, like, oh, my goodness, where did it come from?! it came from this man voting to put two wars on a credit card, at the same time, put a prescription drug benefit on the credit card. a trillion-dollar tax cut for
the very wealthy. i was there! i voted against attach i said, no, we can't afford that. now, all of a sudden, they are so seized with the concern about the debt that they created-- congressman ryan? >> let's not forget that they came in with one-party control. when barack obama was elected, his party controlled everything, they had the ability to do everything of their choosing and look at where we are right now. they passed the stimulus. the idea that we could borrow $831 billion, spend it on all of these special-interest groups and it would work out fine, unemployment would never get to 8%. they said right now fwe just pass the stimulus, the economy would grow at 4%, it's 1.3. >> martha: when could you get it below 6%? >> that's our entire promise for our pro-growth plan, got the economy growing at 4%, creating 12 million jobs over the next four years. look at $90 billion. the vice-president was in charge of overseaing this.
$90 billion in green pork to campaign contributors and special interest groups. there are just at the department of energy, over 1 mon. criminal investigations launched i. martha. >> martha: go ahead. >> martha, look -- investigative committee spent months and months and months going -- [overlapping dialogue] >> months and monthsch they found no evidence of cronyism. i love my friend here! i am not allowed to show letters, but go to our web site, he sent me two letters saying, by the way, you can send me some stimulus money for companies here in the state of wisconsin? we sent millions of dollars. you know-- you did ask for stimulus money. >> on two occasions, we advocates for constit wens applying for grants. that's what we do. we do that for all constituents. >> this is such a bad program. he writes me a letter -- writes the department of energy saying we need this stimulus to create
growth and jobs. his words! and now he is sitting here, looking at me -- by the way, that program, again, investigated. what the congress said was, it was a model, less than 4/10 of 1% waste or fraud in the program. all of this talk about cronyism. they investigated, and investigated, did not find one single piece of evidence! i wish he would just be more candid. >> was it a good idea to spend taxpayer dollars on electric cars in finland or wind mills in china? was it a good idea to borrow money from china and spend it on all of these various interest groups? >> let me tell you, it was a good idea, moody's and others have said, this is what we needed to stop us from going off the cliff and set the conditions to grow again. we have 4% of those green jobs didn't go -- went under, didn't work. it's a better batting average than investment bankers have.
>> where are the 5 million green jobs-- i want to move to medicare and entitlements. i think we have gone over this, quite enough. >> by the way, any letter you send me, i will entertain. >> i appreciate that, joe. >> martha: let's talk about medicare and entitlements. both medicare and social security are going broke and taking a larger share of the budget in the process. will benefits for americans under these programs have to change for the programs to survive mr. ryan? >> absolutely. med air and social security are going bankrupt. these are indisputable facts. look, when i look at these programs, we have all had tragedies in our lives. i think about what they have done for my own family. my mom and i had my grandmother move in us, facing alzheimer's. medicare was there for her and it's there for my mom right now, who is a senior. after my father died, helped my mother go back to college in her firsts, and she started a maul business, paid all of her taxes
on the promise that she's programs would be there for her. we will honor this promise. the best way to do it is to reform it for my generation. if you reform the programs for my generation, people 54 and below, you can guarantee they don't change for people in or near retirement, which is mamitt romney and i are proposing. look what obamacare does. obamacare takes $716 billion from medicare to spend on obamacare. even their own chief actuary at medicare backs this up. he says, you can't spend the same dollar twice. you can't claim the money goes to medicare and obamacare. and they put the new obamacare board, in charge of cutting medicare every year in ways that will lead to denied care for current seniors. the board is 15 people, the president is supposed to appoint them next year. not one has to have medical training. social security, if we don't shore up social security, when we run out of ious, a 25%
across-the-board benefit kicks in on current seniors in the middle of retirement. they haven't put a credible solution on the table. he will tell but vouchers, he will say all of these things to try to scare people. here's what we are say being -- give younger people when they become medicare eligible, guaranteed coverage options that you can't be denied, including traditional medicare. choose the plan and medicare subsidizes your plan, and more coverage for middle-income people and total benefit for the poor and the sick. we would rather have seniors decide how their coverage benefits them instead of bureaucrats deciding who can get it. >> i heard that from sarah palin. every vice-presidential debate i hear about this from panels. let's talk about medicare. what we did is we saved $716 billion in and put it back and applied it to medicare.
we cut the cost of medicare. we stopped over paying insurance companies when doctors and hospitals-- the ama supported what we did. aarp endorsed what we did. and it extends the life of medicare to 2024. they want to wipe this all out. it also gave more benefits. any senior out there, ask yourself, do you have more benefits today? do you. if you are near the donut hole, you have $600 more to help your prescription drug cost. you get wellness visits without co-pays. they wipe this out and medicare becomes insolvent in 2016. number 1. number 2, guaranteed benefit. it's a voucher. when they have first proposed -- when the congressman had his first voucher program, the cbo said it would cost $6400 a year, martha, more for every senior, 55 and below, when they got there. he knew that. yet he got it all the guys in congress and the republican
party too vote for t. mitt romney, knowing that said, i would sign it, were i there. who do you believe? the ama? me? i guy who has fought his whole life for this? or someone who would put in motion a plan that knowingly added $6400 a year more to the cost of medicare? now they have a new plan. trust me, it is not going to cost you any more. folks, follow your instirveghts. when it comes to social security, we would not privatize it. if we listened to governor romny and the congressman in the bush years, imagine where those seniors would be now, if their money had been in the market? their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. and they eliminate the guarantee of medicare. >> here's the problem. they got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, turning medicare into a piggy bank for obamacare. their own actuary from the
administration came to congress and said 1 out of 6 hospitals and nursing homes are going to go out of business as a result of this -- >> that's not what they said. >> 7.4 million seniors are projected to lose their advantage care coverage, that's a $32 mon. benefit cut -- >> poor people -- >> these are from -- [overlapping dialogue] >> more people signed up for medicare advantage after the change. nobody is -- >> mr. vice-president -- [overlapping dialogue] >> i know you are under a lot of duress to make -- [laughter] >> i think people would be better served if we don't keep interrupting each other. >> don't take over 4 minutes. >> we are saying don't change it for people 55 and above. they have organized their retirement-- let me ask you this. what is your specific plan for senior who is really can't afford to make up the difference, in the value what have you call a premium support plan and others call a voucher -- and what -- >> we are saying-- how do you make that up?
>> by taking down the subsidies for wealthy people. look, this is a plan -- i by the way, the $6400 is totally inaccurate now. this is a plan that is bipartisan, it's a plan i put together with a prominent democratic senator from oregon. >> not one democrat endorses this. >> our partner is a democrat from oregon. >> he said he no longer support its. >> we put it together with the former clinton bud director -- >> who disavows it. >> this idea came from the clinton commission to save medicare. here's the point -- martha -- >> which was rejected. >> if we don't fix this soon, current seniors get cutses. here's the problem. 10,000 people are retiring every day in america today, and they will for 20 years. that's not a political -- >> martha fwe just did one thing, if they just allow medicare to bargain for the coff of drugs like medicaid can, that would save $156 billion right off the bat.
all -- >> it would deny seniors choices -- >> they are not denied. folks, all you seniors out there, have you been denied choices? have you lost medicare advantage? -- vice-president biden, if it could help solve the problem, why not very slowly raise the medicare eligibility age by 2 years, as congressman ryan suggests? >> i was there when we did that with social security. in 1983. i was one of 8 people sitting in the room that included tip o'neill negotiating with president reagan. we all got together. and everybody said, as long as everybody's in the deal, everybody's in the deal and everybody is making some sacrifice, we can find a way. we made the system solvent to 2033. we will not, though, be part of any voucher plan eliminating it. the voucher says, mom, when you are 65, go out there, shop for the best insurance you can get. you are out of medicare, you can
buy back in -- if you want with this voucher, when ch will not keep pace with health care costs because if it did, there would be no savings. that's why they go to the voucher. we will be no part of a voucher program or the privatization of social security. >> guto the mail box, go to get a check and buy something, nobody's proposing that. barack obama, four years ago, running for president said, if you don't have any fresh ideas, you use stale tactics to scare voters. if you don't have a good record to run on, paint your oppon as someone people should run from-- if you were -- stand with president bush, when he was seeking to partially privatize social security. >> for younger people. what he said -- i have always agreed, let younger americans have a voluntary choice of making their money work faster for them, within the social security system. >> you saw how well that worked.
>> we are saying, no changes for 55 and older. anden then the changes we are talking about for younger people like myself, don't increase the benefits for wealthy people as fast as everybody else, slowly raise the retirement age over time. and it wouldn't get to 70 until 2103. >> martha: quickly, vice-president. >> the bottom line here is that all the studies show that if we went a social security proposal by mitt romney, in your 40s now, you will get $fwixland less in social security and if you near your 20s, you are getting $4700 less. the idea of change in this case being to cut the benefits for people without taking other action, you can do to make it work is absolutely the wrong way. these, look, these guys haven't been big on medicare from the beginning. their party's not big on medicare from the beginning. they have always been about social security, as little as you can do.
look, folk, use common sense. who do you trust on this? a man who introduced a bill that would raise it $6400 a year, knowing it, passing it and romney saying he would sign tor me and the president? >> that statistic was completely misleading. >> those are the fac facts. >> this is what politicians do when they don't have a record to run on. try to scare people from voting for you. if you don't get ahead of this problem i. pled care beneficiaries-- we are going to move on. i have a -- >> medicare and social security did so much for my own family, we are not going to jeopardize the program, but we have to save it -- >> you are jeopardizing the program. you are changing the program from a guaranteed benefit to premium support, whatever you call, it the bottom line is people are going to have to pay more money and the families i know and the families i come from -- they don't have the money to pay more-- gentlemen... i would like to move on to a very simple
question. something tells me, i won't get a simple answer. but let me ask you this. on to taxes. if your ticket is elected, who will pay more in taxes? who will pay less? starting with vice-president biden for 2 minutes. >> the middle class will pay less and people making a million dollars or more will begin to contribute slightly more. a concrete example. the continuation of the bush tax cut, we are argue that this bush tax cuts for the welty should be allowed to expire. of the bush tax cuts for the wealthy, $800 billion glz to people making a minimum of $1 million. we see no justification in these economic times -- and they are patriotic americans, they are not asking for this continued tax cut. they are not suggesting t. but my friends are insisting on it. 120,000 families by continuing that tax cut, will get an additional $500 billion in tax
relief in the next 10 years and they income is an average of $8 million. we want to extend permanently, the middle-class tax cut, permanently. they won't allow it. they are say ago we say, let's have a vote. let's have a vote on the middle-class tax cut and the upper tax cut. let's go ahead and vote on it. they are saying noveltiy they are holding hostage the middle-class tax cut to the super wealthy. on top of that, they have another tax cut coming that's $5 trillion that all the studies point out will in fact give you another $250 million -- 83, $250,000 a year to the 120,000 families and raise taxes for people who are middle-income with a child, by $2,000 a year. this is unconvulnerable. there is no need for this. the middle class got knocked on their heels, the great recession crushed them. they need some help now. the last people who need help
are 120,000 families for another -- another $500 billion tax cut over 10 years. >> martha: congressman? >> our entire premise of the tax reform plan is to grow the economy and create jobs. it's a pln that is estimated to create 7 million jobs. now, we think that government taking 28% of a family and business's income is enough. president obama thinks that the government ought to be able to take as much as 44.8% of a small business's income. look, if you packed every person and successful small business making $250,000 at 100%, it would run the government for 98 days. if everybody who paid income taxes last year, including small businesses doubled their income taxes this year, we would have a $300 billion deficit. you see, there are not enough rich people and small businesses to tax to pay for all of their
spending. and so the next time you hear them say, don't worry about it, we will get a few wealthy people to pay their fair share, watch out, middle class, the tax bill is coming to you. that's why we are saying, we need fundamental tax research. 8 out of 10 businesses file as individuals, not as corporations. where i come from, oversea, which is lake superior... the canadians drop their tax rates to 15%. the average tax rate on businesses in industrialized world is 25%. and the president wants the top effective tax rate on successful small businesses to go to 40%. two-thirs of ourions come from small businesses. this one tax would actually tax 53% of small business income. it is expected to cost us 710,000 jobs. you know what? it doesn't pay for 10% of the propose the deficit spending increases. we are saying lower tax rates
across the board and close loopholes, primarily to higher-income people. we have three bottom line it's don't raise the deficit, don't raise taxes on the middle class and don't lower the share of income borne by the high-income earners. he will say this $5 trillion man, i suppose. it is discredited by six other studies and even their own deputy campaign manager acknowledged it wasn't correct. >> martha: let's talk about there 20%. have you refused -- and again to offer specifics on how you pay for that 20% across-the-board tax cut. do you actually have the specifics? or are you still working on approximate it and you won't tell the voters? >> we want to have big bipartisan agreements-- do you have the specifics? >> look at what -- look at what ronald reagan and tip o'neill did. they worked together out of a frame work to lower tax rates and broaden the base and fix na.
we are saying, here's our frame work, lower tax rates 20%. we raised $1.2 trillion in income taxes and forego $1.1 trillion in loophole deductions. we are saying, deny the loopholes and deductions to higher-income taxpayers, so more of their income is taxed -- >> can i translate? >> to lower the tax rates across the board. what we are saying -- >> i hope i get time to respond-- you will get time. >> we want to work with congress on how best to achieve this. >> martha: no specifics? >> lower tax rates 20%, start with the wealthy. work with congress to do it? >> martha: you guarantee this math will add up. >> six studies have guaranteed and verified. >> martha: vice-president -- [overlapping dialogue] >> let me translate. let me have a chance to translate. >> first of all, i was there when ronald reagan tax rates and he gave specifics of what he was going to cut, number 1 nterms of tax expenditures.
number 2, 97% of the small businesses of america pay less than -- make less than $250,000. let me tell you about the other small business, hedge funds that make $6- $800 million, they count those as small businesses because they are pass-through. let's look at how sincere they are. governor romney, on "60 minutes" about 10 days ago was asked, governor, you pay 14% on $20 million, someone making $50,000 paid more than that, do you think that's fair? he said, yes, that's fair. that's fair. you think these guys are going to go out there and cut the loopholes? the loophole, the biggest loophole is the carried interest loophole and capital gains. they exempt that. now, there is not enough-- the reason why the aei study, american enterprises and tax policy center study, the reason they say it's going to -- taxes will go up on the middle class, the only way you can find $5
trillion in loopholes is cut the mortgage deduction from middle-class people, cut the health care deduction, middle-class people, take away their ability to get a tax break to send their kids to college, that's-- is he wrong about that? >> he is wrong about that. you can cut tax rates 20% and preserve the important preferences for middle-class taxpayers. >> not mathematically possible. >> it's been done before. this is what we are proposing -- >> it has never been done before. >> it's been done a couple of times -- increase growth. >> ronald reagan. >> now you are jack kennedy. [overlapping dialogue] >> republicans and democrats have worked together on this -- >> that's right. >> i understand you are not used -- >> we told you what we are going to do. when we did it with reagan, he said, we are going to do this. >> that's how you get things done. let me say it this way -- >> from the republican congress, working bipartisanly?
7% rating. >> mitt romney was governor of massachusetts where 87% of the legislators were democrats. he didn't demonize them or demagogue them, he met with them every week, he reached across the aisle and he balanced the budget [overlapping dialogue] >> martha: vice-president, what -- >> [overlapping dialogue] -- >> why isn't he even contesting massachusetts? >> martha: what would you suggest beyond raising taxes on the wealthy -- >> just let the tax expire like they are supposed to those millionaires. we can't afford $800 billion going to people making a minimum of $1 million. they do not need it, martha. those 120,000 families make $8 million a year. middle-class people need the help. why does my friend cut out the tuition tax credit for them? >> martha: can you declare -- can you declare anything off
limits? home mortgage deductions -- home mortgage detouks ductions. >> for higher-income people. >> you can guarantee no one making less than $150,000 will have a mortgage deduction? >> he keeps making you think it's a movie star, or hedge fund guy. >> 97% of the small businesses make less than $250,000 a year, would not be affected -- >> this tax is a million people. 1 million small businesses. >> does it tax 97% of the american people. >> maul businesses with the greatest job creators-- you are going to increase the budget. you are going to increase the defense budget. >> we are not going to cut the budget i. they increase it $2 trillion-- no massive i. we are saying-- no massive defense increase. >> you want to get into defense now. >> martha: i do. that's another math question. how do you do that? >> they propose a $4 sfail 78
billion cut to defense, to begin with. now we have another $500 billion cut to defense, lurking on the horr whereon. they insisted that in the debt negotiation it's. >> martha: let's -- let's put the automatic defense cuts aside. let's put this aside. no one wants that. but i want to know, how do you do the math and have this increase in dftion spending. >> $2 trillion. >> you don't cut defense by $twenty1 trillion. >> martha: what national security issues justify an increase. >> we are going to cut 80,000 soldier, 20,000 marines, 1 tent cargo planes. we are going-- draw down from one war and one war -- >> if the cuts go through, the navy will be the smallest it has been since before world world w. this invites weakness. look, do we believe in peace through strength? you bet we do. that means don't impose the devastating cuts on the military. we are saying don't cut the
military by $twenty1 trillion. not increase tdon't cut it by $1 trillion. >> martha: quickly, vice-president biden. >> we don't cut t. i know we don't want to use the fancy word, sequester, that was part of a debt deal that they asked for. let me tell what you my friend said in a press conference, announcing he is supporting the deal. we have been looking for this moment for a long time. >> kitell what you that meant? we have been looking for bipartisanship for a long time. >> the automatic cuts in defense if they didn't act. beyond that, they asked for -- look, the military says, we need a smaller, leaner army. we need more special forces. we don't need more m1 tanks, we need more-- some in the military. >> not some in the military. that was the decision of the joint chiefs of staff. recommended to us and agreed to by the president. that's a fact. they made the recommendation
first. >> martha: okay. let's move on to afghanistan. >> can i get into that. >> martha: i would like to move to afghanistan, please. that's one of the biggest expenditure this is country has made in dollars and more importantly nlives. we just passed the sad milestone of losing 2,000 u.s. troops there in this war. more than 50 of them were killed this year by the very afghan forces we are trying to help. now, we have reached the recruiting goal for afghan forces, we have degraded al qaeda. tell me, why not leave now? what more can we really accomplish? is it worth more american lives? >> we don't want to lose the gains we have gotten. we want to make sure that the taliban does not come back in and give al qaeda a safe haven. we agree with the administration on their 2014 transition. look, when i think about afghanistan, i think about the incredible job that our troops have done. you have been more than the two of us combine the. first time i was there in 2002, it was amazing to me what they
were facing. i went in kandahar, before the surge, i sat down with a young private in the 82nd from the menominee indian reservation and he told me what he would do, every day and i was in awe. to go back in december and go with the marines to see what they had accomplished, it is nothing short of amazing. what we don't want to do is lose the gains we have gotten. now, we have disagreed friments on a few issues. we more likely taken into account the recommendations from our commanders, general petraeus, admiral mohen on troop levels. we have been skeptical about negotiations withiban, especially while they are shooting at us. but we want to see the 2014 transition be successful. that means we want to make sure our commanders have what they need to make sure that it is successful, so this does not once again become a launching pad for terrorists. >> martha, let's keep our eye on
the ball. i have been in afterafand iraq 20 times. i have been throughout that whole country, mostly in a helicopter and sometimes in a vehicle. the fact is, we went there for one reason, to get those people who killed americans, al qaeda. we have decimated al qaeda central. we have eliminated osama bin laden. that was our purpose. and in fact, in the meantime, what we said we would do, we would help train the afghan military. it's their responsibility to take over their own security. that's why, with 49 of our allies in afghanistan, we have agreed on a gradual draw-down so we are out of there by the year 2014 -- in the year 2014. my friend and the governor say it's based on conditions, which means, it depends. it does not depend, for us.
it is the responsibility of the afghans to take care of their own security. we have trained over 315,000 mostly without incident. there have been more than two dozen cases of green-on-blue, where americans have been killed. if we do not -- if the measures the military has taken do not take hold, we will not go on joint patrols, we will not train the field. we will only train in the army bases that exist there. but we are leaving. we are leaving in 2014. period. and in the process, we are going to be saving over the next 10 years, another $800 billion. we have been in this war for over a decade. the primary objective is almost completed. now all we are doing is putting the kabul government in a position to be able to maintain their own security. it is their responsibility. not america's.
>> martha: what conditions could justify staying, congressman ryan? >> we don't want to stay. look... one of my best friends in janesville, reservist, is in a base in east afghanistan. our wives are best friends, our daughters are best friends. i want him and all of our tope troops to come home as soon as and as safely as possible. we want to make sure that 2014 is successful. we want to make sure that we give our commanders what they say they need to make it successful. we don't want to extend beyond 2014. if it was just this, i feel like we would be able to call this a success. but it's not. what we are witnessing as we turn on our television screens these days is the absolute unraveling of the obama foreign policy. problems are growing at home, but -- problems are growing abroad, but jobs are not growing here at home. >> martha: let me go back to this. he says we are absolutely
leaving in 2014. you are saying, that's not an absolute, but you won't talk -- >> do you know why we would say that? we don't want to broadcast to our enemies, wait us out and then come back-- you agree with the timeline -- >> we do agree with the timeline in the transition. but -- what any administration will do in 2013 is assess the situation to see how best to complete this timeline. >> we will leave in 20 fwrean. >> what we do not want to do is give our allies reason to trust us less and our enemies -- we don't want to embolden our enemies to hold and wait out for us and take over -- >> martha that's a bizarre statement -- 49 allies, hear me -- 49 of our allies signed on fothis position i. we are reading -- >> 49. 49 of our allies said, out in
2014. it's the responsibility of the afghans. we have other responsibilities-- we have -- we have -- we have afghan forces murdering our forces over there. the taliban is -- do you think taking advantage of this timeline? >> look, the taliban -- what we have found out and you saw it in iraq, martha, unless you set a timeline, baghdad in the case of iraq and kabul in the case of afghanistan, will not step up. they're happy to let us continue to do the job. international security forces to do the job. the only way they step up is say, fellas, we are leaving. we have trained you. step up. step up. >> martha: let me -- >> that's the only way it works. >> martha: let me go back to the surge troops that we put in there and you brought this up, congressman ryan. i have talked to a lot of troops, i have talked to senior
officer who is were concerned that the surge troops were pulled out during the fighting season. and some of them saw that as a political move. so can you tell me, vice-president biden, what was the military reason for bringing those surged troops homes. >> the military reason -- by the way, when the president announced the surge, you will remember, martha, he said, the surge will be out by the end of the summer. the military said, the surge will be out. nothing political about this. before the surge occurred, so you be straight with me, here, too. before the surge occurred, we said they will be out by the end of the summer. that's what the military said. the reason for that is-- military follows orders. i mean, trust me, there are people -- >> sure! >> martha: there are people who were concerned about pulling out on the fighting. >> there are always people who are concerned. but not the joint chiefs. that was their recommendation in the oval office to the president of the united states of america. i sat there. i am sure you will find someone
who disagrees with the pentagon. i am positive you will find that within the military. but that's not the case here. and secondly, the reason why the military said that is, you cannot wait and have a cliff. it takes, you know, months and months and months to draw down forces -- [overlapping dialogue] >> let me illustrate the issue here because i think this can get confusing. we have all met with general allen and in afghanistan to talk about fighting seasons. here's the way it works. the mountain passes fill in with snow. the taliban and the terrorists come over from pakistan to fight our men and women. twh it's froze wen snow, they can't do it. that's the fighting season. in the warm months, fighting gets really high. in the winter, it goes down. so when admural mullen and general petraeus came to congress and said, if you pull these people out before the fighting season is end, it puts
more people at risk. that's the problem. yes, we drew 22,000 troops down last month, but the remaining troop who is are there and have the same mission to prosecute counter-insurgency are doing it with fewer people. that makes them less safe. we are senning fewer people out in all of these hot spots to do the same job they were supposed to do a month ago -- >> because we turned it over to the afghan troops. we trained! no one got pulled out that didn't get filled in by trained afghan personnel. and he's conflating two issues. the fighting season that petraeus was talking about and admiral mullen was the fighting season this spring. that's when he was talking about. we did not -- we did not pull them out. >> the calendar works the same every year. >> it does work the same every year. >> pring, summer, fall... it's warm or it's not.
they're still fighting us. they are coming over the passes. they're still coming in to all of these areas and we are sending fewer people to the front to fight them. >> thoosht because that's the afghan responsibility. we have trained them. >> not in the east. >> martha: let's move i. not in the east? >> that's the most dangerous place in the world. that's why we should send americans in instead -- you would rather americans go in and do the job -- >> we are already sending meshes in, but fewer of them. >> that's right. we are sending in more afghans to do the job! afghans to do the job. >> martha: let's move to the civil war in syria. there are estimates that more than 25,000, 30,000 people have been killed. in march of last year, president obama explained the military action taken in libya, by saying it was in the national interests to go in and prevent further massacres from occurring there.
so why doesn't the same logic apply in syria? >> it's a different country. it is 5 times as large geographically. it has one-fifth the population, that is libbia, one-fifth the population, five times as large. it's in a part of the world where they are not going to see whatever would come from that war, would seep into a regional war. you are in a country that is heavily populated in the midst of the most dangerous area newscast world. and in fact, if in fact, it blows up and the wrong people gain control, it's going to have impact on the entire region, causing potentially regional wars. we are working hand and glove with the turks, with the jordanians and the saudis and all the people in the region. attempting to identify the people who deserve the help, so that when assad goes -- and he will go -- there will be a legitimate government that
follows on, not an al qaeda-sponsored government that follows on. all of this loose talk of my friend, governor romney and the congressman, about how we are going to do -- we could do so much more in there, what more would they do other than put american boots on the ground? the last thing america needs is to get in another ground war in the middle-east, requiring tens of thousands, if not well over 100,000 american forces. they are the facts. they are the facts. every time the governor's asked about this, he -- he goes up with a whole lot of verbiage, but when he gets pressed, he said, no, he would not do anything different nan we are doing now. are they proposing putting american troops on the ground? american aircraft in the air space? if they do, they should speak up and say so. but that's not what they are saying. we are doing it exactly like we
need to do to identify those forces who in fact will provide for a stable government and not cause a regional sunni/shi'a war when bashear assad falls. >> nobody is proposing to send troops to syria, american troops to syria. let me say it this way, how would we do things differently? we wouldn't refer to assad as a reformer, when he is killing civilians with his russian-provided weapons. we wouldn't outsource our foreign policy to the unite yont, giving vladimir putin veto power over the issue. he has vetoed three of them. hillary clinton went to russia to try to convince him not to do so, they thwarted her efforts. she said they were on the wrong side of history. she was right about this. this is how the russia reset's not working. where are we? after international pressure
mounted, then president obama said assad should go. it's been over a year, the man has slaughtered tens of thousands of his own people. and more foreign fighters are spilling into this country. so the longer this has gone on, the more... people -- groups like al qaeda are going in. we could have more easily identified the free syrian army, freedom fighters, working with our allirks the turk, the saudis, had we had a better plan, working through our allies. but, no, we waited for kofi annan to try to come up with an agreement to the u.n., that bought assad time. we gave russia veto power over our efforts through the numentd u.n. and meanwhile, 30,000 syrians are dead. >> what would my friend do differently? if you notice, he never answers the question -- >> no, we would not be going through the u.n. i. you don't go through the u.n. we are in the process now and
have been for months nmaking sure that help, humanitarian aid, as well as other aid and training is getting to those forces that we believe the turks, the injuredanians and the saudis believe are the free forces inside of syria. that is underway. our allies were all on the same page. nato, as well as our arab allies, in terms of trying to get a settlement. that was their idea. we are the one who is said, enough. with regard to the reset want working, the fact of the matter is, russia has a different interest in syria than we do, that's not in our interest. >> martha: what happens in assad does not fall? congressman ryan? what happens to the region? what happen fist he hangs on? what happens if he does? >> iran keeps their greatest ally in the region. he is a sponsor of terrorism. he will probably continue to slaughter his people. we in the world people will lose
our credibility on this. -- what would romney/ryan do about that credibility? >> we agree with the same red line they do on chemical weapons. but not putting american troops in, other than to secure the chemical weaponses. they are right about that. but what we should have done earlier is work with those freedom fighters, those dissidents in syria. we should not have called assad a reformer-- what is your criteria -- [overlapping dialogue] >> we should not have waited for russia to give us the green light at u.n -- they are still arming the man. iran is flying flights over iraq -- >> and the opposition is being harmed -- >> to help assad. by the way, if we had the status of forces agreement that the vice-president said he would bet his vice-presidenty, we would have done that. >> martha: let me ask you, what is your criteria for intervention? >> in syria?
>> martha: worldwide. >> what is in the national interest of the american people. what is in the national security of the american people. hadt hos to be in the strategic national interest of our country. >> martha: no humanitarian? >> each situation will come up with its own set of circumstances, but putting american troops on the ground -- that has to be within the national security interest of the american people. >> martha: i want to -- we are almost out of time here -- >> embargos and sanks and over flights, those are things that don't put american troops on the ground. if you are talking about american troops on the ground, only in our national security interests. >> martha: i wants to move on. i want to return home for these last few week questions. this debate is indeed historic. we have two catholic candidates, first time on the stage such as this. i would like to ask you both to tell me what role your religion has played in your own personal views on abortion? please talk about how you came to that decision.
talk about how your religion played a part in that. and please, this is such an emotional issue for so many people in this country, please talk personally about this, if you could. congressman ryan. >> i don't see how a person can separate their public life from their private life or their faith. our faith informs us of everything we do. it informs me of how to take care of the vulnerable and make sure that people have a chance in life. now, you want to ask basically where why i am pro-life. it is not simply because of my catholic faith. that's a factor, of course. did you it's also because of reason and science. you know, i think about 10 1/2 years ago, my wife jan and i went to mercy hospital in janesville, where i was born, for our seven-week ultrasound for our first-born child and we
saw that heart beat. our little baby was in the shape of a bean. and to this day, we have nicknamed our first-born child, liza, bean. now, i believe that life begins at conception. that's why those are the reasons why i am pro-life. i understands this is a difficut issue. i respect people who don't agree with me on this. but the policy of a romney administration will be to oppose abortion with the exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. what troubles me more is how this administration has handled all of these issues. look at what they are doing through obamacare with respect to assaulting the religious liberties of this country. they're infringing upon our first freedom, the freedom of religion, by infringin catholic charities, catholic churches, catholic hospitals. our church should not have to
sue the federal government to maintain religious liberties. with respect to abortion, the democratic party used to say they want it to be safe, legal and rare. now they support approximate without restriction and taxpayer funding in obamacare, with foreign aid. the vice-president himself went to china and said that he sympathized -- or wouldn't second-guess their one-child policy of forced abortions and sterilizations, that to me, is pretty extreme. >> martha: vice-president biden. >> my religion defines who i am. and... i have been a practicing catholic my whole life. and it is particularly informed pie social dact rin. catholic social doktd rin talks about taking those who can't take care of themselves, people who need help. with regard to -- with regard to abortion, i accept my church's
position on abortion as a -- what we call -- doctrine, life begins at conception. i accept that in my personal life. but i refuse to impose that on devout christian, muslims and jews. i refuse to impose that on others, unlike me friend here, the congressman. i do not believe that... that we have a right to tell other people that women, that they can't control their body. it's a decision between them and their doctor. in my view, the supreme court. i am not going to interfere with that. with regard to the assault on the catholic church, let me make it absolutely clear, no religious institution, catholic or otherwise, including catholic social service, georgetown -- any hospital -- none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception,
none has to be a vehicle to get contraception, in any insurance policy they provide. that is a fact. that is a fact. now, with regard to the way in which we differ, my friend says that -- he -- well, i guess he accepts governor romney's position now. because in the past, he has argued that there was rape and forcible rape, he has argued that in the case of rape or incest, it was still -- it would be a crime to engage in having an abortion. i fundamentally disagree with my friend. >> martha: congressman ryan? >> all i am saying, if you believe that life begins at conception, that therefore doesn't change the definition of life. that's a principle. the policy of a romney administration is is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. now, i have to take issue with the catholic church and
religious liberty -- >> you have. >> if they agree, why would they keep suing? it's a distinction without a difference? i want to go back to the abortion question here. if the romney/ryan ticket is elected, should those who believe that abortion should remain legal be worried? >> we don't think that unelected judges should make this decision, that people through their elected representatives and reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this determination. >> the court, the next president will get one or two supreme court nominees. that's how close row v. wade is. just ask yourself, with robert borg being the chief adviser on the court, four for mr. romney, who do you think he is likely to appoint? do you think he's likely to point -- ax point someone like scalia, on the court, far right,
to outlaw abortion? i suspect that would happen. i guarantee you, that will not happen, we pick two people, we pick people who are open minded, have been good justices. keep an eye on the supreme court. >> was that a litmus test. >> there was no litmus test. they had an open mind and no agenda. >> martha: i am moving to the closing question because we are running out of time. certainly known, have you said it here tonight, that the two of you respect our troops enormously. your son has served and perhaps some day, your children will serve as well. i recently spoke to a highlyde decorated sold soldier who said that this presidential campaign has left him dismayed. he told me, quote, the ads are so negative, they are tearing down each other, rather than building up the country. what would you say to that american hero about this campaign? and at the end of the day, are you ever embarrassed by the tone
vice-president biden? >> i would say to him the same thing i say to my son who did serve a year in iraq, that we only have one truly sacred obligation as a government, that's to equip those we send into harm's way and care for those who come home. that's the only sacred obligation we have. everything else falls behind that. i would also tell him that the fact that... he, this decorated soldier you talked about, fought for his country that, that should be honored. he should not be thrown into a category of 47% who don't pay their taxes, while he was out there fighting and not having to pay taxes and somehow not taking responsibility. i would also tell him that there are things that have occurred in this campaign and occurred in every campaign that i am sure both of us regret, anyone having
said, particularly in these -- these special, new groups that can go out and raise all the money they want, not to have to identify themselves and say the most scurrilous things about the other candidate. it's an abomination. but the bottom line here is, i have asked that hero that you reference to take a look at whether or not governor romney or president obama has the conviction to help lift up the middle clationz, restore them to where they were before this great recession hit and they got wiped out, or whether or not he is going to continue to focus on taking care of only the very wealthy, not asking them to pay any part of the deal to bring back the middle class and the economy of this country. i would ask him to take a look at whether the president of the united states has acted wisely in the use of force, and whether or not the slip-shod comments being made by my -- by governor
romney serve -- serve our interest, very well. but there are things that have been said in campaigns that i -- i find not very appealing. >> martha: congressman ryan? >> i thank him for our service to our country. i would say, we are not not go going to impose these devastating cuts to the military to compromise his safety. then i would say, you have a president who ran for president four years ago, promising hope and change, who has turned this campaign into a attack, blame and defame. you see, if you don't have a good record to run on, then you paint your oppon as someone to run from. that was what president obama said in 2008. that's what he is doing right now. look at all the string of broken promises. if you like your health care plan, you can keep t. try telling that to 20 million people who are projected to lose their health insurance or 7.4 million senior who is are going to lose it.
or remember this, i guarantee if you make less than $250,000, your taxes won't go up. of 21 tax increases in obamacare, 12 hit the middle class. remember when he said health insurance premiums will go down $25,000. they have gone up $3,000. remember when he said, by the end of my first term,il cut the deficit in half in four years. we have had four budgets, $4 trillion deficits, a debt crisis is coming. we can't keep spenning and borrowing like this. we can't keep spending money we don't have. leaders run to problems to fix problems. president obedrooma has not put a credible plan on the table in any of his four years to deal with the debt crisis. i passed two budgets. mitt romney has put 5 years on the table. the president likes to say he has a plan. he gave a speech. we asked his budget office, can
we say the plan? they sent it to the press secretary, he gave us a copy of the speech. we asked the congressional budget office, they said, it's a speech. we can't estimate speeches. you see, what's what we get in this administration -- speeches, not leadership. mitt romney is uniquely qualified to fix these problems. his lifetime of experience, his proven track record of bipartisanship, and what do we have from the president? he broke his big promising to bring people to solve the country's biggest problems. we don't have to settle for this. we do better than this. >> i hope i will get equal time. >> martha: you will get a few successes here. >> the two budgets the congressman's introduced have eviscerated all the things that the middle class cares about. it is not -- he will knock 19 million people off medicare and kick 200,000 children off of early education, it will eliminate the tax credit people
have to send their children to college. it cuts education by $450 billion. it does -- it does virtually nothing except continue to increase the tax cuts for the very wealthy. and you know, we have had enough of this. the idea that he's so concerned about the deficits, i pointed out, he voted to put two wars on a credit card-- we are going to the closing statements in just a minute. youville -- >> not raising taxes is not cutting taxes. by the way, our budget -- >> we have not raised taxes. >> martha: let me calm things down here just for a minute. i want to talk to you very briefly before the closing statements about your personal character. if you were elected, what could you both give to this country, as a man, as a human being, that no one else could? >> honesty. no one else could? there are plenty of fine people
who could lead this country. but what you need are people who when they say they are going to do manage, they do t. what you need, when people see problem, they offer solutions to fix those problems, we are not getting that. look, we can grow this economy faster. that's what the five-point plan is all about, getting 12 million jobs, higher take-home pay, got poverty out of the middle class that. means proven, pro-growth policies that we know work to get people back to work. putting ideas on the table, working with democrats -- that works sometimes -- >> could we get to that issue of what you could bring as a man, a human being. i am going to keep you to 15 seconds here. >> he gets 40 -- >> >> martha: he didn't have 40. >> my record stands for itself. i never say anything i don't mean. everybody knows whatever i say, i do. and my whole life has been devoted to leveling the playing field for middle-class people,
giving them an even break, treating main street and wall street the same, holding the same responsibility. electric at my record. it's been all about the middle class. they're the people who grow this country. we think we can grow the country from the middle out, know the top down. >> martha: okay. we turn to the candidates for closing statements. thank you, gentlemen. that coin toss, again, has vice-president biden starting with the closing statement. >> let me say at the outset, i want to thank you, martha, for doing this and centre college. the fact is that we are in a situation where we inherited a god-awful circumstance. people are in real trouble. we acted to move to bring relief to the people who needed the most help now. and in the process, we -- in case you haven't noticed -- we have strong disagreements, but you probably detected my frustration with their attitude about the american